Coronavirus Victoria: State hits long-awaited number

·Assistant News Editor
·4-min read

Victoria has no known active cases of coronavirus in the state after hitting the incredible milestone overnight.

It is the first time Victoria has had no active coronavirus cases since February with Premier Daniel Andrews revealing the news at a quiet press conference on Tuesday morning.

“First things first, we are very pleased to be able to confirm today there are now no active cases of coronavirus in our state,” he said.

“The one remaining active case has now been cleared of the virus and discharged from hospital. That’s great news for them and their family.”

Dan Andrews cautiously celebrated the news this morning. Source: ABC News
Dan Andrews cautiously celebrated the news this morning. Source: ABC News

The state's last remaining active case, a man in his 90s, was discharged from hospital on Monday.

Victoria has now gone 25 days without virus deaths or any new cases emerging.

“Even with this run of zero days ... This is far from over,” Mr Andrews warned. “This is something that is going to be with us for the foreseeable future.”

The milestone comes ahead of the release of the Victorian state budget later today.

“There’s been a lot of damage, a lot of pain over these last eight to ten months but it’s important that we push forward and create jobs and opportunities and that’s what today’s state budget will be all about,” the premier said.

A woman puts on a face mask as she crosses Flinders Street on November 23, 2020 in Melbourne. Source: Getty
A woman puts on a face mask as she crosses Flinders Street on November 23, 2020 in Melbourne. Source: Getty

Victoria's Deputy Chief Health Officer Allen Cheng was also quick to point out it doesn’t mean the threat is gone for Victorians. But he put the remarkable achievement in context after the state reached about 700 new daily cases at the peak of the second wave.

“It doesn't mean the threat is gone, but certainly a milestone considering we had 7,880 active cases on 11 August,” he said.

93 active cases across the country

On Monday, the Victorian border opened with NSW, which currently has 13 active cases, according to NSW Health.

In NSW, a case is considered active for 28 days after diagnosis but it is the only state which does not include hotel quarantine cases in its figures for current active cases.

Nationwide, there are 93 active coronavirus cases as of Tuesday.

There are currently 38 active cases in South Australia following a recent outbreak and three day lockdown, there are 21 in Western Australia, 14 in Queensland and six in the Northern Territory.

There is also one active case in the ACT, from a returning diplomat, while Tasmania has zero active cases.

New South Wales reopened its border to Victoria at 12:01 on Monday 23 November, and it was a party in the terminal. Source: Getty
New South Wales reopened its border to Victoria at 12:01 on Monday 23 November, and it was a party in the terminal. Source: Getty

Australia’s achievement in tackling the virus stands in stark contrast to the northern hemisphere with many countries returning to strict lockdowns as cases surge heading into winter.

There are almost 5 million active cases in the United States alone and more than 9 million active cases in Europe, according to WorldoMeter.

Victoria continues to open up

Sweeping changes have come into effect across Victoria this week, with masks no longer needed outdoors unless people are unable to safely physically distance.

They must still wear masks in indoor environments including workplaces, supermarkets and public transport, and carry them at all times.

Other tweaks from Monday include 15 home visitors allowed per day, up from two, while limits on outdoor public gatherings rise to 50 people.

For weddings and funerals, 150 people will be able to come together to celebrate or commiserate.

Large restaurants, cafes and pubs will be able to host up to 150 customers indoors, while smaller venues will be limited to 50 and must keep QR code records.

Mr Andrews outlined additional steps towards normality as well: up to 30 home visitors per day from December 13 – just in time for Christmas – and 25 per cent of staff returning to workplaces from November 30.

The state's virus death toll stands at 819, with the national figure 907.

Victoria has gone from nearly 700 daily new cases at the peak to four weeks without a new case. Source: dhhs.vic.gov
Victoria has gone from nearly 700 daily new cases at the peak to four weeks without a new case. Source: dhhs.vic.gov

with AAP

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